Supplementation with antithrombin III ex vivo optimizes enoxaparin responses in critically injured patients

Jessica C. Cardenas*, Yao Wei Wang, Jay V. Karri, Seenya Vincent, Andrew P. Cap, Bryan A. Cotton, Charles E. Wade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The high incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) following trauma persists in spite of aggressive thromboprophylaxis strategies. Approximately half of VTE patients do not achieve the recommended anti-FXa response to enoxaparin anticoagulation (0.1–0.4 IU/mL), however, research to explain or correct this phenomenon is lacking. We hypothesized that antithrombin III (AT) deficiency is associated with poor enoxaparin responsiveness in trauma patients that develop VTE which can be reversed through supplementation with AT. Methods and findings: A retrospective cohort study was performed on plasma collected from trauma patients who did and did not develop pulmonary embolism (PE) as well as healthy volunteers. AT levels, thrombin generation, and anti-FXa levels were measured in the collected plasma at baseline and in response to supplementation with AT concentrate at 120–200% or plasma (30% volume). A total of 54 PE patients and 46 non-PE patients were enrolled in this study for analysis. Compared to healthy volunteers, trauma patients had lower levels of AT, elevated thrombin generation, and lower anti-FXa levels in response to enoxaparin. Moreover, thrombin generation was higher and responses to enoxaparin were lower in patients who developed PE compared to those who did not develop PE. We found that supplementation with AT, but not plasma, increased AT levels and improved enoxaparin-mediated inhibition of thrombin generation. Conclusions: Supplementation with AT may provide a novel adjunct therapy to increase the effectiveness of enoxaparin thromboprophylaxis and reduce the incidence of VTE in the trauma population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalThrombosis Research
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antithrombin
  • Thromboprophylaxis
  • Thrombosis
  • Trauma


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